Inside the South Cumberland State Park lies the beautiful 60ft Foster Falls. A quick 45 minute drive from Chattanooga will land you in Sequatchie, TN where the hike begins. You can either take the short route from the parking lot to the overlook and down to the swinging bridge, or for more of a challenge follow Fiery Gizzard Trail to Climber's Access 2. We missed the access the first time, bringing our total hike to 4.5 miles. On the Fiery Gizzard trail, you will have many different viewpoints of the falls. Once at the Climber's Access, you can watch sport climbers ascend the incredible walls.
The terrain varies between even to uneven and does involve rock scrambling if you continue on past Climber's Access along Fiery Gizzard trail. If hiking from the parking lot directly to the falls, the distance is 1.6 miles RT and an easy hike, but uneven terrain.
We had the falls to ourselves for a little bit, but I can imagine this being a very crowded place during the summer. There is also camping available.
Driving info: 498 Foster Falls Road
Sequatchie, TN 37374
Open year round. Large parking lot. Restrooms at trailhead.
If you're looking for great, clean campsites away from RVs & cars altogether, Jordanelle Resevoir's Keetly hike-in campground is for you. Located just north of Heber City (think Park City area) the Jordanelle State Park is perfect for boaters, SUP, kayaking, beaching, and just relaxing by the water. The beauty of the Keetly campground was the privacy, unlike hanging out at the beach area which can be very crowded.
We chose campsites 171 with easy access to the water but no shade. Everything you bring must be hiked in .5 mile to 1 mile depending on your campsite and the foot path you choose. Once you park, there is a spot for wagons that were donated to the state park for campers to haul their gear to the sites. Even though the sign clearly said to not leave the wagons at your site and to hike it back the parking lot after unloading, we saw many campers with the wagons at their site all night. We were not lucky enough to grab a wagon on the hike in - but we did see two girls with a wagon each hauling nothing but one backpack in each wagon. Talk about annoying. Moral of the story - don't bring more than you can carry in or else you may be making multiple trips.
The campsites are equipped with concrete pads with picnic tables, large firepits with primitive grills, and tent spaces. Pretty similar to most car camping set ups.
Our campsite was located on a cove - perfect for floating, kayaking, and SUP. A few campers did "park?" their boats along the bank in the cove and hiked up to their campsites. The water was pretty still and free from wake in the area.
We cooked our dinner of veggie brats and squash on our BioLite grill (favorite outdoor equipment purchase ever!) & watched the sun set. After dark, a heat lightening storm started, but we weren't lucky enough to catch a good photo.
If you're looking for a nice quiet weekend on the lake or a family fun filled trip, Jordanelle State Park Keelty Campground is for you!
Once inside the State Park ($10 fee or UT state park pass), we took a left a the first intersection. You will eventually see a sign for Frary Peak hiking trail. There is a single restroom at the bottom of the road that leads up to the trailhead. There is plenty of parking up top and the views are amazing! Even if you don't want to hike Frary Peak or Dooly Knob, the drive up to the parking lot will provide you with awesome views of the Wasatch and the Great Salt Lake.
There are two options on this hike, Frary Peak (about 7 miles total) and Dooly Knob (just under 3). They both require the initial uphill hike which can be quiet strenuous going up (& down!) We carried on the trail to Frary Peak, after all it was my goal to bag a peak that weekend!
On the trail you will come to a small boulder field that you actually get to walk through. I really loved this part and acted like a total dork running back through it and climbing on the rocks. This is pretty much the last time you get to walk on level ground for the remainder of the ascent. I mean, you are gaining 2100' in just over 3 miles.
The views on the hike to the peak were breathtaking. I really felt like I was somewhere other than Utah. The peaks were green and seemed to go on forever. The Great Salt Lake was mirrored. The Oquirrh and Wasatch views were A+. All of this helped distract from the lack of shade -- I was sunburn city just from the short time I had my jacket off.
The last bit of the hike was dicey; there was a ton of mud, plus it was narrow. But everything opened p again and before we knew it, we were there! We met a ton of people on the peak (pretty much everyone had a tie to the state of Michigan except my husband - he's not cool enough ;) ) and enjoyed a well deserved beer. We hung out for about 30 minutes (I could not understand the people that would reach the top, take a selfie, and immediately head back down) before some rain clouds moved in. It never rained on us, but I knew the muddy section of the trail would be a little more challenging if it were to rain.
The hike down was REALLY hard on my knees. I don't think I have particularly bad knees, but both Karl and I were in so much pain hiking down. I feel like hiking poles might have helped the impact not be as bad or maybe our walking technique is just terrible. Nobody else seemed to be having trouble....
We are pumped for some more peaks to start clearing off so we can enjoy more mountaintop views this spring!